And freedom? And why is education power and freedom?
The whole point of the enlightenment is that knowledge sets us free. “Wherever the people are well informed,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “they can be trusted with their own government.” That we are less free than we can, and should, be is the point of Shawn Otto’s book The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It. If you’ve not read it, please do so.
It is also the point of, let’s see … the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Under Trump, these freedoms are threatened daily. We are at a tipping point. A Trump is possible when the politicians and elected officials of this country have taken enough power from the voters that they can make voting itself a non-democratic act. A Trump is possible when ignorance becomes the willed objective of a large portion of the thought leaders of our society. Once a certain point of institutionalized repression of democracy, and a certain point of culturally determined ignorance, are reached, someone like Trump can become president and then, imperialized by whichever powers control him, push us the rest of the way.
That is the point of the best of this year’s Super Bowl commercials. The only one worth watching. In fact, better than the game turned out to be. This is it, from the Washington Post:
The Washington Post wants you to help them identify the individuals shown in photographs golfing with Donald Trump.
Oddly this project does not have a code name. So let us work on that as well.
Possible code names:
To a T
My little friend
Look who’s golfing with Donnie
…we ask your help. The tool below indicates those days on which we think Trump has played golf and, when we know, his
partners. In some cases, we’re trying to confirm people who we believe have played with Trump. For many other days, we have no idea. If you think you might have some insight, click the “Have a tip?” button for the appropriate day and tell us what you know. (It will open a blank email.)
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday evening that its website would be “undergoing changes” to better represent the new direction the agency is taking, triggering the removal of several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information.
One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another provided detailed information on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by such emissions.
The changes came less than 24 hours before thousands of protesters were set to march in Washington…
By the way, given what is happening at the New York Times, the Washington Post has become the US national level go-to major media for climate change. It helps that Chris Mooney is there, and his coverage is excellent, though there are lots of other writers who cover environmental and climate issues as well. If you happen to be a member of Amazon Prime, you can get the Washington Post free for a period of time (I can’t remember how long, I got mine a long time back) and subscribing isn’t too bad. Once you do the free thing for a while you’ll start getting special offers, and I recommend it. Note that even during a period when I wasn’t subscribing to the Washington Post, I used it as my main major media source for ongoing primaries during the election season, as it had the best organized (though not perfect) site with current results. (Prime or not, perhaps this is a good deal for the paper at Amazon as well: The Washington Post.)